The Substance Abuse Counselor Training and Career Center


Welcome! You have arrived at the Substance Abuse Counselor Headquarters! Here you will find all the information you need for a career as a substance abuse counselor, including training, education requirements, qualifications needed for licensure and certification, and more! The Substance Abuse Counselor Headquarters will help you obtain the knowledge and skills needed to get where you want to be… fast!

Becoming a Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

A licensed substance abuse counselor is someone who meets the licensure requirements of their specific state.  Becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor takes time and effort, as does remaining licensed.  If becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor is something you’re interested in, you’re in the right place.  Read on for more information on how to become a licensed substance abuse counselor, what a licensed substance abuse counselor does and how they differ from certified substance abuse counselors.

becoming a licensed substance abuse counselorIf you have decided that becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor is something you’d like to pursue, you first need to make sure that you meet all the requirements.  If becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor seems too overwhelming for you right now, you may consider becoming a certified substance abuse counselor prior to seeking licensure.

Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

Becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor is more involved than becoming a certified substance abuse counselor in that it requires more hours of supervised experience.  A licensed substance abuse counselor, will need to have more experience and education than a certified substance abuse counselor.

In order to be a licensed substance abuse counselor you will need three years of experience (about 6,000 hours) in the field of substance abuse and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a social services field. In some states, a licensed substance abuse counselor candidate that holds a master’s degree or higher may become licensed with only 3,000 hours of work experience.  When looking into becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor, you will need to determine if you meet your state’s specific requirements.  If you don’t quite meet the specified number of hours needed for your state but becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor is something you’re striving for, you may consider taking up volunteer hours working in the field of substance abuse in addition to your work as these hours are often accepted toward licensure.

Becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor requires 6,000 hours of clinically supervised experience and 270 hours of formal classroom training.  The supervised hours required for a licensed substance abuse counselor can be obtained through working in an alcohol and drug facility under the supervision of a licensed substance abuse counselor.

The formal classroom hours you need to become a licensed substance abuse counselor can be obtained by attending formal training workshops through your employer, alcohol and drug training classes, or attending a school that has classes in the 12 core functions of a substance abuse counselor.

Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor

While becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor, you will not only need to meet educational and experience requirements but also keep in mind that personal qualifications need to be met. Someone who is becoming a licensed substance abuse counselor should have a strong desire to help others, be willing to follow a code of ethics, inspire respect and confidence in others, and be trustworthy.

If a becoming licensed substance abuse counselor does not sounds like the path you want to take, you may want to look into becoming a certified substance abuse counselor instead.

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